I have been being, if not an actual slacker when it comes to the gym, at least a minimalist. I am doing 90 minutes a week of walking and the odd leg press session, which is what you have to do to keep the body from actually turning to sludge, but that is it.
I don’t intend to continue that, though. I intend to step things up and show my lipids profile who’s boss. So the day before yesterday I did the Lotte Berk workout with 15 pound dumbbells. Yesterday morning I was in some pain, and had another rehearsal looming, and I don’t know if I’ve whined about it lately, but I’m still getting up at 4:00 a.m.
So instead of going to the gym I hobbled over to a comfortable chair and worked on #2 son’s sweater and finished up The God Delusion.
Chapter 7 of The God Delusion can be summed up pretty easily: there is some seriously weird stuff in the Bible. If you haven’t read the Bible or any of the myriad discussions of the fact that there is some seriously weird stuff in it, you might find this entertaining. Dawkins repeats some weird stuff from other books as well, and some of the books are by people who were religious.
Chapter 8 can also be summed up quickly: there are some weird people who happen to be religious. This chapter is also mildly entertaining if you don’t keep up with the news much.
Now, this book could be subtitled “Things people have said to me, and things I would have said back to them if I weren’t so civilized.” So it is clear that someone at some point said, “Richard,” or since he is a 65-year-old British guy, “Dicky,” or perhaps just “Dawkins, don’t you see the difference between Osama Bin Laden and the ladies arranging flowers down at the Women’s Institute?” Dawkins boldly says that there is no difference. Right now they might be serving in a soup kitchen, but all religious people have the makings of a suicide bomber in them.
Dawkins began the book by pointing out that religion is as common to humans as heterosexuality, and went on to suggest that it is just a misfire of the highly-adaptive tendency to fall in love. Would he then say that there is no difference between a loving husband and a serial rapist, or that a prom date is the equivalent of a jealousy-provoked murder? Presumably not. Yet he claims to see no difference between people who do mad things and blame it on religion, and the local vicar.
He says correctly that when Hitler and Stalin did appalling things in the name of science and politics, they were perverting science and politics. But he explicitly rejects the thought that things like the Spanish Inquisition were perversions of religion.
In Chapter 9, he goes right off the deep end and proposes that religious instruction is worse for children than sexual abuse.
The book finishes up with some suggestions on how, if he has done what he hopes to do and taken the reader’s faith from him or her, the reader can find comfort. There are even addresses to write to in case you feel isolated as an atheist, now that his careful arguments have convinced you to become one.
Over the past couple of days I unpacked 48 cartons of toys, so I am not suffering the usual consequences of skipping the gym when you have sore muscles, but I must definitely go today.
(The usual consequences, for any of you who have never done this foolish thing, would be DOMS, Delayed Onset Muscle Pain, which is the name for having even more soreness the second day after the workout. I recently learned that it is one of the main reasons people give up exercise. Now you know.)
I packed up half the contents of the 48 cartons to send to the other store, but the rest must find a home. So today I will be taking down and putting back up the toy section, and probably math and science as well, since the toys include things like the Mathshark and the Talking Microscope. Definitely a day for jeans and sneakers. And plenty of time to finish contemplating the issues raised by The God Delusion.